We have to admit that it was one of the most unusual cars we have ever seen at the Iola Old Car Show. In fact, there was something “other worldly” about a 1932 Panhard et Levassor 6DS sedan frying in the hot sun in a former hayfield outside a tiny Wisconsin village.
When Panhard presented its 1931 line-up at the Paris Motor Show in October 1930, their last two four cylinder models had been withdrawn, along with the 10CV 6-cylider Type X59. Instead they concentrated on their “S-series” cars, designated “Panhard CS” and “Panhard DS” according to engine size. Both cars had been introduced a year earlier.
Publicity of the time indicated the “S” stood for “Voitures surbaissées” (having an “underslung” chassis) and added that “S” also indicated cars that were “…souples, superiéres, stables, spacieuses, silencieuses, sans soupapes” (ie using valveless cylinders). Four of the five Panhards exhibited featured increasingly lavish and pricey 6-cylinder engined cars, their engine sizes ranging from 2.35-litres to 3.5-litres.
Ed Fallon of Cave Creek, Ariz., brought the Panhard to Iola. He said that it was a very rare car – most likely one of 10 that exist and that includes all body style. The car’s Art Deco styling is amazing and its sleeve-valve engine is completely rebuilt.
This car lived its life in France until 1987, when it was purchased by the Yuzen Museum in Chiba, Japan. Fallon was able to buy the car from the museum in 2009. He then brought it to the United States.